Richmond Times-Dispatch

Thanksgivi­ng: Morning showers but mild temperatur­es

- BY JOHN BOYER Check for John Boyer’s forecast updates. Contact him at JBoyer@ timesdispa­

In a word, Richmond’s Thanksgivi­ng weather outlook is: improving.

There’s still a likelihood of rain from Wednesday night into Thursday morning, but conditions look to improve by the afternoon and evening as a cold front clears offshore.

And the uncertaint­y surroundin­g the rest of the holiday weekend forecast has also improved, revealing more mild and dry times to take advantage of time outside.

So despite the gloomy and damp start to Thanksgivi­ng, there’s plenty of good news.

♦ The rain isn’t likely to last all day on Thanksgivi­ng. It’s still too early to say exactly when it clears out of metro Richmond, but probably no earlier than 11 a.m. or no later than 5 p.m. Midday outdoor plans can’t be written off yet, but later in the afternoon looks more favorable. (We’ll fine-tune this in another midweek update.)

♦ Rain amounts on Thursday will be light or moderate, on the order of onequarter inch, or one-half inch tops. And most of that would fall before 10 a.m.

♦ Thursday will feature the mildest temperatur­es of the week. Expect 50s in the morning and afternoon 60s. There’s a chance for near-70 degree highs if the clouds clear out on schedule and we get some peeks of afternoon sunshine. (Average for this time of year is a low of 37 and high of 57.)

♦ Thanksgivi­ng may be high on humidity, but very low on wind.

♦ More above-normal temperatur­es in the 60s are in store for Friday and Saturday, and those mornings are likely to stay well above freezing with lows in the 40s.

♦ High pressure should keep Friday dry and mostly sunny, and Saturday’s rain chances now look minor at this point. At worst, Saturday would be overcast with on-and-off showers. At best, just partly cloudy.

The forecast turns more dynamic early next week, but also more uncertain.

A bigger system could unleash heavier rain here by Sunday or Monday, depending on how strong it gets and where it tracks between the Rocky Mountains and Great Lakes. We’d stay on its mild side, so winter weather isn’t a concern in Virginia outside of the higher elevations. In fact, the southerly flow ahead of it could push central and eastern parts of the state close to 70 again and lead to a chance of thunder.

Then, a dose of turn-on-the-heaters, wear-the-coats cold air could rush into the region behind that system. But that would be just in time for the turn of December and the start of climatolog­ical winter.

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